How important is it to have an accurate, up-to-date sitemap.xml file for search engines?
According to Bing, it is very important.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday at SEOmoz, Duane Forrester of Bing unveiled the idea that Bing has a quality threshold for the sitemap.xml file that a website submits. Duane states that Bing only wants to see “end state URLs” in the sitemap.xml. This declaration provides some insight to those keeping up on their sitemap.xml file.
Do not include URLs of the following nature:
- No 404, 302, 301, etc.
- No rel=”canonical”
This solidifies the importance for your sitemap.xml to be up-to-date and accurate with URL inclusion. Duane didn’t unfold that specifics of what happens to websites with “dirty” sitemap.xml files. He only indicates that a “dirty” sitemap.xml does impact how Bing views your website.